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and their Families

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Immigration Service EEA Nationals and their Families

Freedom of movement for citizens and their families from EU states and also Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.:

People from European Member States other than the UK have certain rights to stay, referred to as free movement, based on European law rather than on Britain's own immigration rules. They can come into the United Kingdom freely, just as British citizens can, and are usually allowed to stay here. If they have family members who have another nationality, rather than a European passport, those family members will usually also be able to stay here. The rules are easier to meet than the usual immigration rules affecting people of other nationalities. There are specific rules, again different from the UK immigration rules, allowing family members without EEA passports to stay on here, even if their EEA relative dies, or stops work, leaves the UK or divorces. In any case, the rules about refusing EEA nationals or their family members, or removing them from the UK, are far more tightly set than the immigration rules, and give the Home Office much less discretion.

In certain circumstances the family members of British citizens will be able to rely on these extra rights.

There are detailed rules about the documents that may be needed, and about the rights that people have when they are here. There are also arrangements, new from the end of April 2006, for EEA nationals and their family members to gain permanent residence after five years here. The EEA (European Economic Area) comprises 29 countries (including Britain and Switzerland), all of whose nationals can rely on European law. Four of them are not members of the European Union (the EU), but their citizens have the same rights to enter, to stay, study or work, and as well as to be joined by their family members. For a transitional period, citizens of 8 of the newest Member States face special rules if they are working in the UK See below.

The children of EEA nationals working here, and children who are themselves citizens of EEA states, will in some circumstances gain residence rights of their own. In these cases they will have a right to stay in the UK as long as they remain at school, or as long as they are supported, and a parent caring for them will also be able to stay, whatever her own citizenship happens to be.

 

 

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